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Backstreets, Britney Pop to the Top in 1999

The results are in. 1999 was the year that pop broke, and the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears are pop's biggest stars.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the organization that doles out gold, platinum, and diamond records, the Backstreet Boys were the best-selling act of the year. Their latest album, Millennium, released in May, hit diamond status, signifying shipments of 10 million copies. The only other album released this year to receive diamond status was Britney Spears' debut, … Baby One More Time, though consumers have actually picked up more copies of Millennium.

Country: Shania Twain once again dominated the country market, with Come on Over receiving nine more platinum records, pushing it past the 16 million mark and tying it with Garth Brooks' No Fences as the best-selling country album of all time. The Dixie Chicks had another fantastic year, receiving a total of eight platinum certifications for Wide Open Spaces and their new one, Fly.

Hip-hop: Both TLC's Fan Mail and Tupac Shakur's posthumous Greatest Hits sets went five-times platinum in 1999, making them the best-selling hip-hop albums of the year. Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which was already triple-platinum before cleaning up at the Grammys in February, earned another four platinum records in the course of the year.

Rock: Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause came out of nowhere to earn five platinum records, while Limp Bizkit's Significant Other became the other rock record to hit the quintuple mark.

Newcomers: Britney Spears outdistanced her fellow newcomers by a considerable distance. After her diamond award, the closest competitor was Christina Aguilera's quadruple-platinum debut. Lou Bega and Eminem each took home three platinum records for A Little Bit of Mambo and Slim Shady, respectively.

Latin: After Ricky Martin's show-stealing Grammy turn in February, it's no surprise the pop star's self-titled English-language debut became the country's top-selling Latin album, earning six platinum records. Santana's Supernatural, already talked up as a Grammy frontrunner for next year, earned five platinum awards, while former Mousketeer Christina Aguilera's debut earned four.

Soundtracks: Both Tarzan and Wild Wild West earned double-platinum certifications.

Comeback kids: Santana's comeback was almost supernatural, making the title of the album all the more appropriate, and earning him five platinum records and his first No. 1 album since 1971. Cher's Believe was also a heavy-hitter, going triple-platinum.

Top certified albums of 1999

1. Backstreet Boys: Millennium (Jive), 10 million
2. Britney Spears: … Baby One More Time (Jive), 10 million
3. Shania Twain: Come on Over (Mercury Nashville), 9 million
4. Ricky Martin: Ricky Martin (C2/Columbia), 6 million
5. Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces (Sony Nashville), 5 million
6. Kid Rock: Devil Without A Cause: (Lava/Atlantic), 5 million
7. Limp Bizkit: Significant Other (Flip/Interscope), 5 million
8. Santana: Supernatural (Arista), 5 million
9. Tupac Shakur: Greatest Hits (Interscope), 5 million
10. TLC: Fanmail (LaFace/Arista), 5 million

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